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I am a Driving Instructor in Wexford town offering Driving Lessons for category B, cars and light vans.  I am a fully qualified, approved driving instructor registered with the RSA.  I will make you a more confident, safer driver for life at a fantastic price.

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5 Things you should know about Roundabouts Blog post

5 Things you should know about Roundabouts Blog post

Roundabouts generally work quite well in keeping traffic moving and improving safety at intersections, but they can be daunting for the more nervous or inexperienced driver.  Here's 5 things you need to be aware of.

1) Slowing down- An early and gradual slow down is key, this gives you more time to plan ahead and can avoid a late sudden reaction on the brake.  This is particularly important on a downhill roundabout.

2) The 12 O' Clock rule- If your destination on a roundabout is to the right of 12 o' clock then you should use the inside lane and signal right on your approach always remembering to signal left as you exit.  Only use the right lane if one is marked out, a lot of the mini-roundabouts won't actually have a right lane so in the case of a single lane roundabout stay relatively central.

3) Mini-roundabouts- These can be challenging for the average learner driver but if you focus mostly on the right and have quick hands in a tight space as you turn, it can be very manageable.  Try not to treat the mini-roundabout like a T-junction, focus more on traffic approaching from the right and proceed if it is safe.

4) Blind Roundabouts- The only practical option here is to slow down to slow walking pace, drop to first gear and creep out while leaning forward for a better view.  This is the safest thing to do if you can't see due to a wall or a line of parked cars.  It's good to let down the windows a little bit to help you hear better.

5) SPOT- The word SPOT can help you remember the important steps as you approach a roundabout, S is for slow down, P is for position, O is for observation and T is for the timing of the signals.

I hope these tips helped you, please have a look at the attached video where I demonstrate each of the 5 pieces of advice.

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Understanding Roundabouts

Understanding Roundabouts

Roundabouts are there to keep traffic flowing if it is safe, the whole idea is to maintain progress but give way to the right or any vehicle already on the roundabout.  They can cause confusion and fear, particularly among inexperienced learner drivers, but once you understand the rules and get plenty of practice you will soon feel confident and capable dealing with roundabouts.

The most important thing to remember approaching a roundabout is to gradually slow down, this will give you time to preview the roundabout and hence your decision will be easier to make if you are more informed.  You must stop and let any vehicles go if they are already on the roundabout or approaching from the right.  However if they are a long way from you then you should be able to proceed if there is a big enough gap.

Stay left if going left, using the left lane making sure to indicate left well in advance of the roundabout and leaving the indicator on until you are safely off the roundabout.  If going straight, stay left as well only indicating left once you pass the first exit.  And if taking the third exit to the right stay right and use the inside lane, indicating right as you approach and then indicating left after you pass the second exit.  This is generally the way it works on roundabouts unless signs or markings say otherwise.

Remembering the word SPOT can help as each letter is an important aspect in relation to dealing with the roundabout.  S is to slow down, P is position, O is observation and T is timing of the signals.  So if you slow down in good time, have a clear understanding of which lane you should be in, give plenty of quick looks to the right and use your signals properly and in good time then you should be fine.

Practice different types of roundabouts, from standard to mini, from large to small, to help you build your confidence.

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